Speaking Out

Santa's Thanks: 'One Day of Joy'

An Open Letter to the Penn Community:

We found out and experienced first-hand why the University of Pennsylvania is such a wonderful place to work, study and live. The Penn community responded once again. We cannot even begin to name names or groups because we would surely leave someone out. Our thanks is to all who helped.

On December 21, a small group of Penn administrators put together Operation Santa Claus. This was the eighth annual Christmas Party for children from St. Vincent's orphanage and senior citizens from three local nursing homes.

Our guests were treated to a wonderful hot lunch prepared by the very thoughtful people at the Faculty Club, they were entertained by a fabulous DJ and they received beautiful gifts distributed by Santa Claus, of course. The entire event was a complete success and we have all of you to thank.

We can't say enough about how we feel about the generosity and love you expressed for the children and elderly. Your gifts were so needed and so appreciated by all. Many of you were able to stop by and visit for a while and that was a welcome surprise.

Each year, Operation Santa Claus is successful in bringing at least one day of joy and love to the children and elderly and we wish we had a better way of expressing our feelings. We would like to extend our gratitude on behalf of the guests to all of you who helped out in any way. We certainly could not have done it without you.

Have a wonderfully happy and safe New Year.

-- John DeLong and Yvonne Oronzio,
Student Financial Services,
and George Reale, Physical Plant